Bradley Ylitalo’s Scouting Notebook: Updated Quarterback Rankings

Bradley Ylitalo

We’re just over two months from the best day of the year, and I’m overflowing with excitement. The more I watch this 2018 class, the more I fall in love with it. From the edge rushers to the running backs, this class has a deep pool of talented players. With the quarterback position getting the most attention (as it should), I find it to be a great time to get into some updated rankings before the combine rolls around. Can you feel the energy starting to build?

It’s officially draft season. Let’s go!

1) Josh Rosen, UCLA

The best pure passer in this class, there’s no real reason to doubt Rosen. With an outstanding blend of arm talent, footwork, accuracy, and decision-making, he could push for 4,000 yards in his first year in the league. Certainly capable of evading pressure, I wouldn’t let his lack of elite athleticism deter you from taking him with a late first-round pick.

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2) Sam Darnold, USC

Perhaps surprising to some, Darnold was inches away from passing Rosen as my QB1. A prospect with no glaring weaknesses as I evaluated him, he’s a rare talent with both a high floor and ceiling. Having prolific accuracy, mechanics, and pocket presence, Darnold’s toolset is more than intriguing. Versatile enough to play in several different systems, I’m really high on the Trojan’s future.

3) Josh Allen, Wyoming

Josh Allen over Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson? I’m sticking with it. There’s a reason Mel Kiper had him going number one overall in his latest mock draft. A unique talent with unbelievable upside given his release, arm strength, mobility, and size, I’d advise taking a chance on the Cowboy. He comes with a low floor given his decision making and accuracy issues, but my hope in Allen’s future far outweighs my concerns.

4) Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Somebody who could be QB1 in many drafts, Baker Mayfield is really what makes this group of quarterbacks so enticing. Oozing with charisma in every game he plays, there’s something magical about the Heisman winner from Norman. Being the most accurate quarterback in this class, and a great decision maker with immense arm strength, Mayfield could be an immediate star.

5) Lamar Jackson, Louisville

While Rudolph outranks Jackson as a pure draft prospect in my eyes, you simply cannot ignore the Cardinal’s otherworldly athleticism and fantasy potential. A competent passer with an elite ability to recognize and escape pressure, I just can’t wait to see “number eight” at the NFL level. While he won’t blow you away with his arm strength nor his accuracy, don’t feel bad at all about swinging for the fences with Jackson.

6) Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Somewhat unheralded in the dynasty community, Mason Rudolph is about as skilled as you’ll ever see from a QB5 or QB6. Possessing sound mechanics with superb accuracy to all levels of the field, Rudolph has a very real shot at becoming a franchise quarterback. Knowing there’s a palpable drop off after the Oklahoma State product, don’t let him slip through your hands if you’re trying to add a long-term quarterback.

7) Luke Falk, Washington State

Somebody I had as a late first-round prospect coming into the 2017 NCAA season, Falk’s lack of mobility, uninspiring arm strength, and 13 senior season interceptions have, for now, pushed him down near the round two-round three turn. Definitely worth keeping tabs on given his frame, footwork, and accuracy, I’m still holding out hope that Falk can become a solid starter at the NFL level.

8) Mike White, Western Kentucky

If you haven’t heard of any of the three remaining names on this list, don’t feel bad, at this point in the rankings, you’re usually not looking at household names. Beginning with a young man who has amassed over 8,500 yards and 60 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Western Kentucky, it’s easy to see what has us evaluators especially excited about his potential. With a natural mix of arm strength, downfield accuracy and footwork in the pocket, I really like White’s future in an offense built around vertical throws and deep play action drops. Coming from a non-Power Five program, the learning curve might be steeper than most, but the upside is certainly there.

9) Kurt Benkert, Virginia

Some throws have you thinking he’s a round two guy, and some leave you wondering what on earth he was thinking. That’s Kurt Benkert in a nutshell. With a lively arm, quick release, and alluring athleticism, the Cavalier is a project some team will love to take full on. With a possible multi-year learning process ahead, Benkert is someone you should take knowing you likely won’t see results early on.

T10) Riley Ferguson, Memphis

Compile a 6’3 frame, strong arm, and athleticism defenses will have to gameplan for, and you have yourself a prospect that will catch the intrigue of many scouts and GMs. With a long and somewhat awkward release, I’m uneasy about his future as a pure pocket passer, but the framework is there to be a potential low-end starter and even better fantasy producer. Coming from a Memphis offense that isn’t exactly a mirror image of most NFL offenses, the 23-year-old will need to quickly find out how he will be successful in this league.

T10) Kyle Lauletta, Richmond

Lauletta’s name has steadily been picking up steam since his stellar Senior bowl performance. Setting various school record during his time as a Spider, he’s shown enough on film for me to have him as an early day three pick. Having an NFL frame, consistent release, and satisfactory accuracy, Lauletta is worth taking a look at late in your drafts.

Well, that wraps up this edition of “Bradley Ylitalo’s Scouting Notebook”. Please leave a comment or question about a specific prospect, or fit for your team, below. Feel free to shoot me a question on Twitter (@NFL_Drafthub), I’m always happy to interact with football fans. See you next time!